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Panama Hotel
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Reviews (66)
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Reviewed November 7, 2012

I have lived in Marin for years and I have on many occasions rented rooms at the Panama Hotel for special occasions. It used to be funky and fun, but the new owner (quite a few years back) has kept all the original charm, fixed it up, created some beautiful suites, and also runs a very good restaurant with music on some days. I think it is a great place to have a romantic night, (there is both a bordello and honey moon suite), or a retreat for one, the captain's room or european rooms. My favorite is the safari room with animal print. Most rooms have microwaves and fridges or a shared kitchen. There is also a great outdoor patio for breakfast, lunch or dinner outside in warm nights. The hotel is walking distance to downtown and the attractions there, movie theatre, shopping, restaurants, cafes and public transportation. I highly recommend it, such a nice change from sterile american hotel. The prices vary but are affordable for what you get, the breakfast is delicious and is included.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ParrotsCove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Friends referred us to the Panama Hotel at the edge of a residential neighborhood in San Rafael. It is more like a bed and breakfast. Each room has a different theme and size. We stayed in the Safari Room. Totally charming and well appointed. Breakfast was included and was very good for a continental breakfast. The restaurant which is part of the hotel is excellent. It appears to a local hangout for dinner and lunch.Highly recommend the Panama Hotel which dates back to the 1920's. Look for an excuse to stay in San Rafael so that you can experience the Panama Hotel, which is about three blocks from the downtown area.

Room Tip: We liked the Safari room with a king size bed. Was quite spacious and came with a refrig, microwave, bar sink and counter area were you could "prepare" your take out food.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Discerningsenior42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

We were in San Rafael for a business meeting. Another person who was attending the meeting was staying at the Panama Hotel, so we booked our room here. From the moment we arrived the staff were happy, smiling and wanting to take care of us. We stayed in Mimi's Bungalow. It was very spacious with a separate bedroom, living room and bathroom. Everything was clean and nicely decorated. There is a restaurant/bar on the property. We ate twice at the restaurant in one evening. First we had appetizers (mussels & artichoke) with some friends and then we had an entree (seafood stew) with some business associates. All the food was excellent along with some really good wine. Breakfast is included with the room. There weren't many choices for breakfast; scone, fruit, cereal and hard boiled egg. The scones were freshly baked and the fruit was delicious. We drove to San Rafael. The hotel does not have a parking lot. You need to park on the street. We were lucky and found a parking space close to the hotel. The hotel is only 3 blocks from downtown San Rafael, so it is easy to walk and stroll 4th Street shops and restaurants. When we return to San Rafael, we will definitely stay at the Panama Hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank SBCATraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

This hotel is full of character and good value. Best thing was the breakfast, fresh fruit and cakes straight from the oven. The room (Roy Rogers) was fine, no frills but the shared bathroom and shower were a bit grubby, old and dark.

Room Tip: I had the Roy Rogers room which was fine but the shared bathroom and shower were a bit grubby, old and dark
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Jude B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

I stayed one night at the Panama House in San Rafael in mid-December. Perhaps it was the time of the year that will contribute to this poor review, but others I talked to later had similar experiences at different times of the year. There is a large, busy and elegant restaurant right under a number of the rooms. Kitchen noise, restaurant noise and live music will be the dominant theme of your night time back drop. The restaurant closes at 10 pm, but it takes a while for all of the noise to wind down.

There is a restaurant table that blocks the entry way to the stair case to the rooms. I had to ask diners to get out of their chairs and move so I could go in and out of the door way to get to my room.
I cancelled my second two nights there and went looking for other accomodations.

Room Tip: Stay awy from the restaurant, they may have large parties in the restaurant and on the patio adjacent to the second building.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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8  Thank Andy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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